Peripheral neuropathy is often one of those conditions that you may have heard about, without really knowing fully what it is. It is useful to know a little something about it, however, as this can help you to work out whether you might have it yourself, and understand a little more about what can be done about it should you have it. In this blog post, we are going to therefore take you through all of the essentials about peripheral neuropathy, so by the end of it you should feel clued up on all that you need to know.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

So first of all – what exactly is peripheral neuropathy anyway? Essentially it is a kind of nerve damage that happens to nerves which are outside the brain and spinal cord area – which is why those nerves are referred to as peripheral. It is known to frequently cause feelings of weakness and it can also cause a significant amount of pain in many sufferers. You might also experience numbness, and this is very often experienced in the hands and feet most of all.

At times, peripheral neuropathy can go on to affect other functions and parts of the body: digestion, urination, circulation, and more.

The Symptoms

Now that we have a general overview of what peripheral neuropathy is, we can start to dig down and look into some of the symptoms of the condition. Before delving into this, however, it can be important to understand a little more about nerves in general and how they usually work. Every nerve in the system has a function that is specific to it, so the symptoms that you are going to get will vary depending on the type of nerve that is affected.

You have three kinds of nerves that might be affected:

So if you have peripheral neuropathy, you are going to get symptoms relating to which kind of nerve is affected. In general, however, you can also expect some particular symptoms such as the following:

As you can see, there are a wide range of symptoms that can arise as a result of this condition, which is partly why it has traditionally been a difficult thing to diagnose and treat. You can also have it affect one nerve, two or more nerves in different areas, or many nerves at once, and it will differ depending on that as well.

In general, if you notice any of the unusual signs above, you should seek help from your doctor or peripheral neuropathy specialist as soon as possible. The quicker you get help, the better recovery is likely to be.

Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy

So what are some of the major and common causes of peripheral neuropathy? Nerve damage can be the result of many different conditions and situations, which is partly why this condition is so surprisingly common amongst people of all kinds and ages. However, there are some conditions in particular which will often lead to peripheral neuropathy. Let’s look at some of those right now.

You are more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy if you are an alcoholic, or you are exposed to certain poisons such as lead or mercury. Chemotherapy medication can also increase your chances of peripheral neuropathy, as can injury from motor accidents and other such unfortunate events. Also, vitamin deficiencies can make this more likely too.

As you can see, this is a wide-reaching and potentially damaging condition, and it needs quick treatment when it develops. If you are experiencing any symptoms relating to peripheral neuropathy, get in touch with our team today.